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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hope I’m posting this in the right place. I’m trying to put together a healthy street build that I will take to the track on occasion for my 67 SS. I bought the car about 4 weeks ago and the previous owner said the motor had recently been rebuilt. It runs OK, but after riding in a friends’s 70 SS sporting a 502, mine feels pretty tame.:( The engine appears to be a 396/325 from a 68 SS automatic car. Block casting # is 3916323 (ET code) and heads are 215 castings. I am assuming stock pistons at this point, but will verify on tear down. Here is what I am thinking about at the present:

Holley 850 DP
Edelbrock RPM Air Gap
Voodoo 60204 kit
Lunati 73124 springs
Need advice on a distributor
1.75” Hedman Elite headers
2.5” exhausts
4 sp M20
3.31 rear gear

I know a 750 would probably be best, but my friend with the 502 put a Demon on his car and said I could have the 850 if I wanted it. I’ll buy a 750 if needed. I also know that the 60203 is probably a better fit for a 396, but I absolutely love the idle of the 204 and I thought maybe I could get away with the taller cam by having the 4 speed. I am willing to go to up to 3.73’s if needed as well. What do you guys think? I don’t want to end up with a dog and would really appreciate some experienced advice.
 

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That build will run much better than the stock 325 hp you have now.
I got a dizzy HEI dizzy built for me by http://www.4secondsflat.com.
I got the dizzy, put it in, set the timing to 38 all in with vacuum disconnected.
Connected the vacuum and the timing was at 18. Set the idle and everything has been rosy ever since.
I think either cam will work. I have a 3.42 gear and the car runs very well and very streetable with a sound that makes people look before I ever get there.
Best of luck
 

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Sell the 850dp and buy a 750 w/vacuum secondaries. Then get some 3:73's.

Get a good quality distributor and set 38 deg. total w/unplugged vacuum all in by 2600rpm, 18 deg. initial at idle, then 51-52 deg. total w/vacuum hooked up.

Charles
 

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the 850 DP is gonna be a little overkill but if you have it at your disposal for free....nothin says you cant try it. But I agree that a 750 is the better choice. With a 4 speed Id have no concerns about still using a double pumper, but a vac sec wouldnt be a bad option.

Definitely give it some gear. 3.73 at least with that camshaft.

For a distributor, an HEI will be fine. If you want some more juice, get the MSD dust cap which converts it to an external coil. That way, you can run an external, higher powered oil filled coil of your choice.

Im using a stock GM module at this time, but I may try the MSD with the built in rev limiter(module).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the help everybody. I'm pulling the engine and ordering the parts tomorrow. Trying to get it ready in time for the Run to the Sun in Myrtle Beach in mid March. It's a pretty good show. Hope to have it sorted out by then.
 

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Your build sounds good but I would put a 750 DP carb on it since its a stick.
 

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Alan, just a thought here...........if you want a REAL healthy street 396, take a look at the Lunati solid FT 402A1LUN. I talked to Mr. Harold Brookshire about this cam and he said that all who have installed it in their 396/402's really, really love it. Very reliable on the street with plenty of power and will go mega street miles with a yearly valve adjustment. The 60204 Voodoo needs 10:1 compression, but the 402A1LUN is more forgiving and only needs 9:1+.

Good Luck.

Charles
 

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It should its a whole lot bigger but hes a got a 396 so why not make the most of it :beers:.

I had an awfully stout 396 yrs ago that would clean up a whooole lot on the street, couldnt believe sometimes it was a small BB.
 

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502 will run all over that 396

What brings you to that conclusion? Do a google search and look around a little. A stone stock(notice I said stock....Im not disputing how much potential a 502 has with just a few upgrades), but stone stock ZZ502 motors in the typical street strip car usually run somewhere between 11.80 and 12.50(with somewhere in the lower 12's more common) at around 108 to 110 miles per hour.

Sure its a lot of fun...but not groundbraking in any manner.

Nothing that a 396/402 based build cant easily do.
 

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Alan what about pistons? Are you changing them? I would get that compression to 10.5 or 11:1.
 

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I hope I’m posting this in the right place. I’m trying to put together a healthy street build that I will take to the track on occasion for my 67 SS. I bought the car about 4 weeks ago and the previous owner said the motor had recently been rebuilt. It runs OK, but after riding in a friends’s 70 SS sporting a 502, mine feels pretty tame.:( The engine appears to be a 396/325 from a 68 SS automatic car. Block casting # is 3916323 (ET code) and heads are 215 castings. I am assuming stock pistons at this point, but will verify on tear down. Here is what I am thinking about at the present:

Holley 850 DP
Edelbrock RPM Air Gap
Voodoo 60204 kit
Lunati 73124 springs
Need advice on a distributor
1.75” Hedman Elite headers
2.5” exhausts
4 sp M20
3.31 rear gear

I know a 750 would probably be best, but my friend with the 502 put a Demon on his car and said I could have the 850 if I wanted it. I’ll buy a 750 if needed. I also know that the 60203 is probably a better fit for a 396, but I absolutely love the idle of the 204 and I thought maybe I could get away with the taller cam by having the 4 speed. I am willing to go to up to 3.73’s if needed as well. What do you guys think? I don’t want to end up with a dog and would really appreciate some experienced advice.
I'd leave the rear gear for now, the 3.31s. You can always upgrade that later if you want. It's a good cruising gear, and that M20 has a 2.52 1st gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I had a disappointing day today. We had the engine out of the car in about an hour and a half. When we tore it down I found that my recent rebuild apparently wasn’t so recent. The pistons were already .030 over and the bores were in pretty bad shape. Someone in the past had peened the main cap saddles next to the caps with a punch apparently trying to tighten the main cap fit to the block. Never seen that one before. I’ll try to post some pictures for you guys to see. The crank has already been turned .020 on the mains and rods and the bearings are shot.
My plan when I bought the car was to go with a big inch motor and pull the 396. I just wasn’t planning on doing it so soon. I was hoping to satisfy myself for a year or two by putting some better components on this one. From what I saw today, I will be starting from scratch so maybe it’s time to just do it once and be done with it.
What would be the most bang for the buck if I go bigger? 468, 496, 502? I have read a lot about Mark Jones stuff and have considered going that route. Could I build anything comparable for the cost? I need some advice here.
 

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Well, I had a disappointing day today. We had the engine out of the car in about an hour and a half. When we tore it down I found that my recent rebuild apparently wasn’t so recent. The pistons were already .030 over and the bores were in pretty bad shape. Someone in the past had peened the main cap saddles next to the caps with a punch apparently trying to tighten the main cap fit to the block. Never seen that one before. I’ll try to post some pictures for you guys to see. The crank has already been turned .020 on the mains and rods and the bearings are shot.
My plan when I bought the car was to go with a big inch motor and pull the 396. I just wasn’t planning on doing it so soon. I was hoping to satisfy myself for a year or two by putting some better components on this one. From what I saw today, I will be starting from scratch so maybe it’s time to just do it once and be done with it.
What would be the most bang for the buck if I go bigger? 468, 496, 502? I have read a lot about Mark Jones stuff and have considered going that route. Could I build anything comparable for the cost? I need some advice here.
Alan,

That's too bad, but kind of typical. More than 20 years ago when I bought my 69, and I didn't know jack, it supposedly had 4.10 gears, a good motor, 850 carb. Turned out it had 3.55s, 700 carb, four burnt valves and was .060 over.

I recently rebuilt my 427 and am happy with it. BUT if I hadn't have had a good block and heads and crank/rods like I did, I would have bought a Mark Jones motor. Over 600 hp for that price, and with the quality that you know it is (just look at the many satisfied customers), that's just very hard to beat. This is IF I was mainly drag racing.

Just depends on your goals. If you just want to build a 500 hp motor, then a basic 454 can get that done rather easily.

First decide what your use of the car will be and your goals. That's the most important thing. Is it a street/strip, 50/50 deal? Mostly a cruiser? Will it see the track or not? If so, what do you want to run with it?

Decide your goals first and then go from there.

scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Definitely mainly a cruiser, but it will see the track on occasion. In my mind I want a mid to upper 11's car and ultimately high 10's car one day. I would imagine I have a lot ahead of me as far as chassis improvements before that could happen though. I would like to have a motor capable of something in the 11's and the rest will have to come later.
 
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